Category Archives: Dramatica

Dramatica is a theory of narrative structure that became the basis for Dramatica story development software. This category covers all things Dramatica from the practical to the science behind it.

Browse through the articles or use the search box at the top of the page to find just what you are looking for, and may the Muse be with you!

Story Structure – Guidelines, Not Rules!

Of late, I’ve been working with the concept that perfect story structure is a myth – and should be! As they say in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, “it’s more of a guideline than a rule.” In story … Continue reading

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Jurassic Park: Building A Better Dinosaur!

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s a flashback article from the early days of the Dramatica theory of narrative structure back in the mid 1990s.  It is the first article I wrote in a series of “Constructive Criticisms” in which I … Continue reading

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The Zen of Dramatica

By Melanie Anne Phillips A writer recently asked me the following question about feedback he received from the Dramatica software which suggested his character’s Purposes should be Knowledge and Actuality: He wrote: I don’t understand what Dramatica means by a … Continue reading

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The Radical Story Mind

By Melanie Anne Phillips The central concept of the Dramatica theory of narrative structure is the existence of a Story Mind – essentially the notion that every story has its own psychology and its own personality, as if the story itself … Continue reading

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Dramatica – Where’d The Idea Come From?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s the “digest” version of the origins of Dramatica… Chris Huntley and I began our exploration of story structure in 1980. He and I had met a few years earlier while we were both attending the … Continue reading

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A Story Is An Argument

By Melanie Anne Phillips There are two principal forms of story structure: the tale and the story. A tale is a statement – a statement that ‘this leads to this lead to that’ and ‘here’s how it ended up’. Using … Continue reading

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Dramatica and Natural Language A. I. Systems

By Melanie Anne Phillips Over the years, there has been considerable discussion as to whether Dramatica’s rather complex storyforming process could be operated by a natural language artificial intelligence system that could read a story and parse the text to … Continue reading

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Structuring Your Story’s Limit

By Melanie Anne Phillips In order to create tension in your audience, you will want to establish a limit to the story. This limit will indicate to the audience what will bring the story to a moment of truth, either … Continue reading

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Secrets of Story Structure #1 – Introduction

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here in part one of my “classic” 43 part audio program on story structure from the early 1990s, Chris and I introduce ourselves as co-creators of the Dramatica theory of Story Structure, and outline the subjects … Continue reading

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Introducing the Story Mind (Revisited)

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s a flashback video from 1999 – the very first comprehensive video recorded explanation about the Dramatica theory!  Check out my retrospective notes below the video. Okay, here’s what this looks like to me seventeen years … Continue reading

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